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2020 Major Report

The impact of multiple chronic conditions: Findings from the Australian Longitudinal Study on Women’s Health

In this report, we examine the development of multimorbidity (2 or more chronic conditions) across the four ALSWH cohorts. We also examine the impact of multimorbidity on women’s quality of life, and the use of health services. Qualitative data available from the women’s comments on their surveys were also examined to give voice to the experience of women with multimorbidity.

In order to examine multimorbidity, we have focussed on identifying eight groups of common conditions affecting different body systems. These are:

  • Musculoskeletal conditions – including osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, back pain, osteoporosis and joint replacements
  • Mental health conditions – mostly anxiety and depression
  • Coronary heart disease – including heart failure
  • Respiratory disease – asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
  • Cancers – all types except non-melanotic skin cancer
  • Diabetes – types 1 and 2
  • Dementia – all types
  • Stroke – excluding transient ischaemic attack

Dobson A, Forder P, Hockey R, Egan N, Cavenagh D, Waller M, Xu Z, Anderson A, Byrnes E, Barnes I, Loxton D, Byles J, Mishra G. The impact of multiple chronic conditions: Findings from the Australian Longitudinal Study on Women’s Health.
Report prepared for the Australian Government Department of Health, May 2020.

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